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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  • 1 Post By Erik_G

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  #1  
Old 1 Dec 2023
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South America - planning for weather

Hi

I am considering a 6-8 month trip riding in South America. Likely would look to buy a bike in Colombia and then head south.

What would you consider the best month of the year to start the trip? Would July or August be too late?

I know that I should be down in Argentina around late Nov/Dec.

Cheers
Matt
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Old 2 Dec 2023
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Hi Matt,

you’ll be alright if you plan to arrive in Ushuaia around January/February. One advice from my own experience.
Don’t bring a Gore-Tex-suite. While it might work great in the south you’ll suffer so much that you won’t want to wear at in the north. Bring a versatile suite with decent ventilation and a solid set of rain gear instead.
Hope you’ll have a blast!

Ride safe!
Martin
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  #3  
Old 2 Dec 2023
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One way or round trip ?

Do you plan to strart in Colombia and end in ushuai ?

A colombian bike has to change owner in Colombia.

8 month will be enough for going one way down and onother way up.
Carretera Austral is much more interrsting for me than Ushuaia.
My advice is to plan to be in that area in december.
Based on weather and tourist season
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Old 2 Dec 2023
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The ride down to Ushuaia can be miserable, because of the wind and rain.

Some guys luck out and get good weather all the way down there, but I think they are the minority.

Patagonia is only the last 2-300 kilometers at the tip. I really enjoyed spending time in Patagonia, but I said that if I was ever to do that trip again that I would take the bus or fly down to Ushuaia.

I remember it being 6-7 days of full riding days to get to Ushuaia and it was all crappy weather getting there. Huge crosswinds because it is a barren landscape in the Southern half of Argentina.

The other crappy aspect of riding your bike to Ushuaia is how far from the supply chain you become. If you break a chain or a rectifier down there you are looking at 2 weeks to get the new part. By that time in your trip, your bike will be tired and parts will be breaking.

The gas prices are high going down there too.
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Old 4 Dec 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik_G View Post
Do you plan to strart in Colombia and end in ushuai ?

A colombian bike has to change owner in Colombia.

8 month will be enough for going one way down and onother way up.
Carretera Austral is much more interrsting for me than Ushuaia.
My advice is to plan to be in that area in december.
Based on weather and tourist season
Thanks Erik. Yes, the plan would be to start in Colombia and finish in Argentina. Are you suggesting buying a foreign plated bike would be a better option (otherwise I would need to return all the way to Colombia to sell)?

I've heard its best to avoid the rainy season in Bolivia and Peru (Nov - March) so was hoping to start earlier to get through in time.

Cheers
Matt
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  #6  
Old 4 Dec 2023
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We were down there 2017-18. Arrived in Colombia beginning Dec and plan was to move quickly ish to get to Ushuaia down Pan American and Caraterra Austral, mostly by-passing the rainy season in Bolivia then work back up Ruta 40 in Argentina so we could ride Lagunas Route and Salar de Uyuni in the dry.

If you ride Caraterra Austral the southern end of the interesting stuff is in Puerto Natales/Torres del Paine. From there I think it was about 2000kms of wind blown pampas at which point you re-enter the mountains near Ushuaia. I recall that typically March you should still be fine but April you likely will get caught by the weather. We were there in March and it was fine but had other friends be about 2-3 weeks behind us and they got caught in bad weather and had to high tail it north.
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Old 5 Dec 2023
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Originally Posted by mgseveneight View Post
Thanks Erik. Yes, the plan would be to start in Colombia and finish in Argentina. Are you suggesting buying a foreign plated bike would be a better option (otherwise I would need to return all the way to Colombia to sell)?

I've heard its best to avoid the rainy season in Bolivia and Peru (Nov - March) so was hoping to start earlier to get through in time.

Cheers
Matt
Foreign plated bikes are not my area. Than you need to know the laws for that country. If you want to own the bike. And not only have a permission to use it.

My advice is to return to Colombia. You can ride very different routes in Ecuador and Bolivia on the way south and north.

Or if you really want to start in one place and finish in another. Consider shipping instead of buying.

In my opinion, the Amazonas part of Ecuador and central parts of Bolivia are underestimated. They are used by those wha has the goal to get to Ushuaia as faxt as possible.

(I am writing this from Ecuador. East of the Andees. El oriente as they call it.)
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  #8  
Old 6 Dec 2023
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Short answer - we left Colombia in June and arrived in Ushuaia in November. This worked well (although we did have snow in Ushuaia for a couple of days).
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